12 treehouses that have us dreaming of summer vacation

05/25/16   filed under: architecture, green design, treehouses

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See the best & worst sunscreens for kids in EWG’s 10th annual guide to sunscreens

05/24/16   filed under: green family, green kids, health & body, news, toxins

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For the past decade, Environmental Working Group (EWG) has been releasing an annual sunscreen guide for consumers, highlighting sunscreen facts, tips, and best and worst sunscreen lists. 2016 marks their 10th annual sunscreen guide, and you can get all the facts now and have a safer summer! As always, EWG points out that families should not rely on sunscreen alone, rather, use sunscreen as just one protective measure coupled with sun protective clothing, staying in the shade, and checking out the UV Index before you head outside. This year, EWG has fine-tuned their list to include the best and worst sunscreens for kiddos. According to EWG, 37 sunscreen products in total, which are marketed to children, earned an EWG sunscreen rating of 7 to 10 for toxicity (a rating of 0 or 1 is best), the worst scoring suncreens include:

  • Banana Boat Kids Max Protect & Play Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100
  • Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55
  • Coppertone Sunscreen Continuous Spray, Kids, SPF 70
  • Coppertone Sunscreen Lotion Kids, SPF 70+
  • Coppertone Foaming Lotion Sunscreen Kids Wacky Foam, SPF 70+
  • Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70+
  • CVS Baby Sunstick Sunscreen, SPF 55
  • CVS Kids Wet & Dry Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70+
  • Equate Kids Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55
  • Hampton Sun Continuous Mist Sunscreen For Kids, SPF 70

Why so bad?

The sunscreens above, made for kids and babies, have at least three strikes against them: oxybenzone, retinyl palmitate and SPFs above 50+. EWG notes that four earned additional strikes because they’re aerosol sprays that can expose sensitive young lungs to potentially hazardous chemicals. Luckily, for your family, there are plenty of better choices. Keep reading to see 10 of the best sunscreens for kids and babies for 2016.

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Fairytale scenes literally leap from the pages of these sensational book sculptures

05/24/16   filed under: art

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How to safely introduce peanuts into your baby's diet

05/24/16   filed under: baby feeding, health & body, kids health, snack

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With the growing number of children suffering from peanut allergies today, parents may be wary of feeding their infants anything containing the nut. However, research suggests that this fear could be exactly what has caused this sudden surge in peanut allergies over the past decade. Did you know that recent studies found that exposure to peanuts at an early age could actually prevent the development of allergies, and that avoiding peanuts altogether could be causing the hypersensitivity? Though it is essential to consult with your pediatrician first (especially if your child has eczema and/or other allergies), this research is certainly worth examining. Read on to learn more about this illuminating investigation, and which organic peanut product is best for infants and toddlers to safely try first.

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Organic Nomad pillow-blankets are the ultimate travel accessory for kids

05/24/16   filed under: green design, green family, green kids, humanitarian design, kid friendly

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Mom's voice has a powerful, light-up effect on her child's brain

05/23/16   filed under: news, parenting

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Talking to your baby or child is essential for helping her understand the world around her, building her vocabulary, and bonding with you, and a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine has found that a mother’s voice literally has an electric effect on her child’s brain! Lighting up areas of the brain including auditory, emotion, reward processing, social functioning, and facial recognition, hearing the sound of a mother’s voice creates a lightening quick connection: 97% of the children who were studied were able to identify their mother’s voice using audio clips of nonsense words that were less than one second long. The study also showed that the children’s brains were more engaged by hearing their mother’s voice than that of a stranger’s, and that the strength of this connection predicted how well the child was able to communicate socially. The scientists plan to continue this area of research through conducting similar studies on children with autism as well as adolescents to understand “whether brain responses change as people mature into adults.” So even if it sometimes feels like kids simply tune out what we are saying (such as “It’s time to go home” or “Can you feed the cat that you begged us to get?”), know that you are forging a powerful connection with your children on a primal level when you speak.

+ Study

via CNN and Stanford Medicine News Center

Image via Shutterstock

 

Under the Gun is a must-see documentary that examines the state of gun control and violence in America

05/23/16   filed under: news, parenting

After exposing the ills of the food industry in FED UP, Katie Couric and Stephanie Soechtig are turning their lens on gun control in the United States. Gun control is a minefield of impassioned views, opinions on constitutional rights, and a variety of feelings on the best way to protect our families, our communities, and ourselves — and we firmly believe that knowledge is power when it comes to the state of gun affairs in our country. Under the Gun examines the ways that gun control is regulated in the U.S.A and begs the question of why, after so many tragedies have occurred in this nation, we have such a problem with gun violence. Looking at communities that have been decimated by gun violence, such as parts of Chicago — and examining the massacres that took place at Sandy Hook and in Aurora, Under the Gun exposes the flaws in our current system and gives hope for ways to address them.

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Updated nutrition facts labels strike a sour note with the sugar industry

05/23/16   filed under: food, health & body, kids health, news, parenting

There’s a new nutrition facts label coming to town… and certain members of the food industry are NOT happy about it. Ever since the FDA announced two years ago that it was proposing changes to the label, food associations including the American Bakers Association, the Corn Refiners Association, and the National Confectioners Association, have argued against the updates. Unsurprisingly, one of the most notable changes to the label highlights the sugar content: the new labels will detail the added sugars in each product and what percentage of the daily recommended intake of sugar the added sugar comprises. Read on for additional changes and why this new label is arriving at a crucial time of mounting health crises in the U.S.A.

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HOW TO: Make vegan chocolate zucchini muffins with cute bear faces

HOW TO: Make vegan chocolate zucchini muffins with cute bear faces

1. Gather the ingredients. 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp baking powder 1 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup organic cane and 1/2 cup…

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$25,000 scholarship will put 125 more kids in Audubon nature camps this summer

$25,000 scholarship will put 125 more kids in Audubon nature camps this summer

Summer camp is a long-standing American tradition that many kids never get to experience, due to the cost. For years, Wild Birds Unlimited—a national chain of nature specialty…

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VIDEO: Parents take a hilarious test-ride in an adult-sized replica of Contours baby stroller

VIDEO: Parents take a hilarious test-ride in an adult-sized replica of Contours baby stroller

Since babies can’t verbalize what they want in a stroller, Contours affords parents a firsthand experience of what the ride feels like — allowing them to determine how…

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A new high-tech breast pump promises a gentler, more peaceful pumping experience for nursing mothers

A new high-tech breast pump promises a gentler, more peaceful pumping experience for nursing mothers

A new breast pump on the market is raising the bar to provide a more comfortable and data-driven pumping experience for new mothers. The Naya Health Smart Pump is a water-based…

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6 awesome alpine slides in America for thrill-seeking families to visit this summer

6 awesome alpine slides in America for thrill-seeking families to visit this summer

Winter Park Resort in Colorado Winter Park Resort boasts Colorado’s longest alpine slide! Adventure-seekers get a beautiful, scenic six-minute chairlift ride, then can bobsled down…

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Cacoon: An indoor/outdoor hanging tent that you can take anywhere

Cacoon: An indoor/outdoor hanging tent that you can take anywhere

What is Cacoon? Cacoon is a hanging tent that’s weather tested to withstand wind, rain, sunshine and sea, but it hangs equally nicely indoors as well. Made with both adults and…

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A father-to-be's age, lifestyle & diet preconception may have a big impact on baby's genes

A father-to-be's age, lifestyle & diet preconception may have a big impact on baby's genes

Mothers are responsible for actually growing babies, so it’s obvious that their lifestyle, diet, and environment have a huge effect on their offspring. But as we urge pregnant…

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Extraordinary Playscapes exhibition celebrates innovative playgrounds of the world & explores the latest thinking in playground design

Extraordinary Playscapes exhibition celebrates innovative playgrounds of the world & explores the latest thinking in playground design

Extraordinary Playscapes shows off 40 of the world’s coolest playgrounds, in a comprehensive exhibition featuring sketches, photos, videos, scale models and interactive exhibits.…

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Taga 2.0: The ultimate, most affordable family bike has arrived

Taga 2.0: The ultimate, most affordable family bike has arrived

Taga bikes, which are a hybrid stroller/bike/grocery toting/cool way to cruise around town, first rode onto the scene four years ago, and there’s been renewed interest recently,…

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Leka is an interactive robot that helps children with autism engage with the world

Leka is an interactive robot that helps children with autism engage with the world

There probably isn’t a child on the planet who wouldn’t love playing with a robot designed just for them. A new startup has developed a special toy just like that for children with…

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